I have had a 10 year love affair with shoes. Pretty shoes especially high heels! The higher the better! Sadly, I have realized at the tender age of 25, that my poor feet cannot handle the stress of cheap or narrow toed shoes or shoes with high, high heels anymore :(
I need shoes that have cushioning, support and a wider toe box. I can't handle high heels like I could 5 years ago. Which wasn't a big deal at my old job because I could wear tennis shoes and jeans everyday but at my new job I need to be more business casual so tennis shoes are not always acceptable.
And the adorable, affordable flats of Target are terrible: no support, and they smoosh my poor toes together. My pinkie's are being forced to curve and its creating the painful, beginning stages of a bunion on the side of my feet.
My feet and legs can't stand up to the pressure of wearing 4-inch heels all day while walking anymore. My whole body will hurt if I try. Mostly, in my lower back, the balls of my feet and once again my toes. Even my toe-nails will hurt!! (Say what?!?)
I am however thankful that because of my training as a running shoe expert fitter that I recognized the signs before things got too bad. (I saw some pretty nasty feet of women who refused to accept their actual shoe size or who had crammed their feet into heels and flats for too long.)
For me, it started last spring when I realized my foot hurt and my pinkie toe's weren't where they should and used to be. Luckily, the weather was warming up and wearing sandals and going barefoot were just around the corner. Over the summer I worked to correct this issue by not wearing shoes that enclosed my feet if at all avoidable, unless tennis shoes with wide toe boxes, and wearing my Vibrams (toe shoes when I could).
The sad thing is I had just bought a pair of Chuck Taylor's and I can hardly wear them because of the narrow toe box :( Jon and I took a day trip to my Alma Mater in the fall, I wore my Chuck's and was almost in tears by the end of the day walking around campus!
But Ladies, this is a warning that sometimes we need to think about the long-term side effects are our love affair with shoes! What you do when you are young will affect you when your older, in all things! I'm now on the hunt for cute shoes that are healthy for my feet and body. Now, occasionally I will wear my super adorable but totally impracticable shoes; key word is occasionally.
I'm just thankful I realized the change I needed to make before it was too late, because I can't afford surgery to fix the problem! :)
I'm also on the hunt for good, healthy flats for work...still rocking my cheapy shoes but my knees, ankles and feet are killing me more and more.